Teaching Philosphy

My teaching philosophy is that courses must be relevant to your daily life and experiences, as well as experimental. For example, you will get hands-on experience related to the courses’ content and conduct your own research.

My courses are inquiry-based, you will learn to think critically about issues, not just regurgitate information. You will gain a holistic understanding of science as a process of discovery; there are very few laws of order in the life sciences, thus you need to think broadly about ways to tackle scientific questions.

My courses are interdisciplinary and interactive so you will learn a variety of analytical skills from across fields and how to collaborate well with others in order to address important issues in science and conservation.

Courses at UH

My courses emphasize learning key concepts, writing, and communication. You will work hard, make new friends, and hopefully gain a deeper appreciation for the environment.

Every other Spring semester I teach Plant Community Ecology (BOT 454) an upper division course that focuses on community ecology in theory and practice. It is a Writing Intensive (WI) course where you implement, analyze and synthesize a research project of your design.

In the Spring semesters that I’m not teaching BOT 454 I offer a graduate seminar on the Ecology of Microbial Symbioses (BOT 612). This course will get you well acquainted with the current research and methodologies used to study symbiosis from genes, to genomes and from biochemistry to ecological approaches, we cover them all.

Starting Fall 2017 and every other Fall semester I teach Ecology (BOT/BIO 305) an general ecology course that covers major topics in ecology, with special emphasis on Hawaiian Ecosystems.

In the Fall semesters that I’m not teaching Ecology, I teach Natural Resource Management and Conservation in Hawaii (BOT 350). This course is a great primer for anyone interested in learning more about conservation efforts in Hawaii from experts in the field.


Equity and Diversity in STEM

In the Hynson lab, we are strongly committed to achieving excellence through diversity. We are aware of biases, conscious and unconscious, in academia and in science and we actively seek to reduce the role of these biases in our own decisions and in those of our colleagues and collaborators. We work together to combat prejudice and work toward equity and inclusion, within the lab and in the communities with whom we interact – on campus and beyond. We are eager to contribute to the diversity of scholarship in Ecology and Evolution, as individuals and in the actions we take to teach, train, mentor, recruit and retain scholars from diverse backgrounds and with diverse perspectives. We are intolerant of actions and language that seek to limit our potential or dismiss the impact of who we are and what we can accomplish through excellence in scholarship, research, education, and outreach.

Programs that Hynson Lab members have contributed to in Hawaii

Geneious Day

Expanding Your Horizons

National Geographic’s BioBlitz

Skype a Scientist

Graduate Women in Science Hawaii Chapter

Ways to engage diversity in STEM

Inspiration for planning a diverse symposium or seminar series from Nicole King

Resources on diversity in STEM from the Specht Lab

Interested in joining the lab? Click the button to find out more.